The Story Inside the Arti[facts]: A creative writing contest


Make history — win cash! Students are invited to take part in a creative writing contest co-sponsored by the Winona County Historical Society and Great River Review, Inc. Middle and high school students (grades five to 12) are invited to participate in this fun challenge that fosters creative ways of approaching the understanding of history.

Participants should visit the Winona County History Center (WCHS) and choose an artifact within the exhibits. Then, tell the “inside” story of that historical object by writing a narrative of at least 1,500 words. Writers should consult at least three documentary sources related to the artifact and develop their narratives based on these sources, but are also encouraged to use their imagination as they try to reconstruct the stories their chosen item from the past can tell.

Get started at the museum open house on Sunday, February 10, from 12-4 p.m.

Get help finding artifacts from museum guides and find some resources in the WCHS archives with assistance from staff during the open house. There will be other fun activities throughout the afternoon as well, including vintage Valentine crafts, info and demo tables from other area museums and organizations, treats, vintage games and more. Best of all, everything is FREE!

Contest entries will be judged based on the narrative’s imaginative reconstruction of fact-based material — how well the writer imagines the facts behind the artifact, and tells the story

behind them. Writers are expected to use their imaginations and creativity to cross the lines of story and history. There will be four $100 winners and eight $50 winners. Submissions can be mailed or dropped off at the Winona County History Center, c/o Arti[fact]s Writing Contest, 160 Johnson Street, Winona, Minn., 55987, or emailed in pdf format to Submissions are due by May 1.

Find more and plan your visit at or call 507-454-2723.


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